I mentioned a few posts back that we began home schooling A in December.
I don't want this post to be about our reasons for our decision (although I'll talk about them because they're relevant), but to focus on the wonderful progress A's made in such a short amount of time.
I am not an organized person. There have been lots of times in A's life that I have thought I've got to be the worst mom for her because I don't run on a strict enough schedule, or I'm not tidy enough, or I'm too spontaneous. One thing I never saw myself doing, Ever, was homeschooling either of my kids. None of the aforementioned personality traits bode well for a homeschooling momma. I did make one concession: if we were ever in the position where we felt we had to home school the kids, then I'd find a way to make it work. In other words: I would do it if we were backed into an educational corner.
Surprisingly that's not exactly what happened. Over the past year I had become a bit more comfortable with the idea of homeschooling. By this November, it was becoming apparent that A's anxiety was beginning to escalate. Interestingly enough, I think it was due more to social and environmental anxieties than anything relating to academics.
By the end of November The Hubby and I had made the decision to begin homeschooling A after her winter break. It just made sense for her to finish the last 3 weeks of the semester.
Unfortunately shortly after that, we came to the conclusion that the heightened levels of stress and anxiety were not worth enduring any longer. So, as of December 2, A was officially a home schooled kiddo.
Here are the changes I've seen in 2 months:
While she's still melting down, her recovery time is amazing! Just last Monday I had to carry her, kicking and screaming, to the van, but by the time we got to where we were going (about a 20 minute drive) she had settled down and was able to participate in the activity.
Yesterday she had a meltdown, but in 10 minutes she apologized. Voluntarily. As in, with no prompting on my end. If you couldn't tell, I was floored!
Her reading comprehension and fluency has taken off! She wasn't having problems, but she has improved so quickly that I have to say it looks as though her anxiety was preventing her from reaching her full potential.
Her self confidence is improving.
I've been able to see that social anxiety is much worse than I realized.
I'm also seeing how severe her anxiety is. My bestie has told me many times that had The Hubby and I not parented A the way we have over the past 5 years (using the strategies from "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk" and a few other wonderful books about connecting with kids), she wouldn't be as well adjusted as she is.
There are times I hear her say that and I think "yeah, ok," but lately I've had a glimpse of how severe A's anxiety is and I can see the truth in that statement.
There have been days (and will be plenty more, I'm sure), where I think "what was I thinking?!" but those are the days I can look back on journal entries, and this blog post and remember that we made the right decision!